Takuya does something helpful in a somewhat more exciting episode of YU-NO.
Overview (Spoilers Below):
At the end of last week’s episode, the school was stunned by a propaganda poster targeting Mio’s dad, mayor Shimizu. Mio is flabbergasted, despite knowing in her heart the accusations are true. She accepts that this means she’ll be transferring to America, and determines to have one last look around Mount Senkaku.
When Yuki checks in at Mio’s house, her maid informs him that she’s left a note and gone missing. Enlisting help from Takuya and Mitsuki, the three of them check around town. Kanna, the mysterious transfer student, tells Takuya that Mio has entered the cave on Mount Senkaku. Mitsuki keeps lookout outside while Yuki and Takuya enter the underground cave. Inside, they hear weird noises and find skeletons along with the ruins of a city. They may have found Mio’s hiding place… but what else have they discovered?
Hey, this episode wasn’t that bad! Kidding aside, though, I think The Distance Between Him and Her was a pretty solid episode, at least by typical YU-NO standards. The pointed purpose helps give some narrative direction and tension to this ninth episode.
I think probably the most beneficial thing that works to the episode’s advantage is just how simple the storyline is this time around. There’s no weird reporters or time travel involved. Instead, we just get to sit back and watch the fallout that occurs after the spiteful posters are hung up. Mio’s father may have accepted bribes from GeoTech to grant them permissive building permits, but dragging Mio into his deceit is low. And the person posting the fliers comes out of the left field for a twist that left me reeling.
But – Mio. She goes through a lot in just these short 22 minutes. After having her crush exposed to Takuya and having her father’s crimes exposed to the entire student body, all within the same 24 hours, she decides to just accept her father’s wish and go along with her transfer to a school in America. However, since she’s still curious about the cave on Mount Senkaku, she chooses to go on one final quest before departing. I really liked this development. Mio’s had a thing for historical research all along, but stepping out on her own to get to the bottom of the mystery is a major step and it gives her some nice independence from Takuya’s machinations. (Also, I love her explorer/adventurer/runaway outfit!) She may just have to be rescued by the guys next week, but her moxy is nice to appreciate while it lasts.
Jumping to Yuki… woah. Did anyone actually see that coming? I think this has to go down as one of the most out-of-character moments this season. I don’t mean that in a bad way, though. While I never expected him to be the culprit behind the fliers, it makes sense once you think about it. He’s been frustrated by Mio’s neglect for weeks now. (I’m not saying that she owes him anything, of course, but I have to grant him that choosing Takuya over Yuki is not an easy blow to take.) Being the nice guy he is, he ends up taking all the blame, admitting everything and apologizing. I hope that this isn’t the end for this plot point, though. It seems like the show still has more to explore here, and I think the dynamic between Takuya, Yuki, and Mio is one of the more fascinating aspects going on with the series.
This week’s English dub was good, with solid performances all around, even if there weren’t that many standouts, quotable lines. “From now on, come to me instead! If you have a problem, I can help!” Oh, poor, innocent Yuki. I can totally see why he felt the need to retaliate against Takuya, but I hate that he hurt Mio in the process. “I know we don’t have that kind of relationship anymore.” Exactly what kind of relationship did Mitsuki have with Takuya in the past? Er, nevermind, I would rather not know. “You don’t strike me as the gossiping type, though. You’re a good kid.” What? WHAT? I’d love to have some insight into what all these adult women see in Takuya. “Instead of worrying about me, maybe you should be looking after Mio. She was really cute, so she stuck out in my mind.” Ayumi makes a phone cameo just to tease her stepson.
The ninth episode of YU-NO wasn’t too bad. The single-minded focus on Mio’s predicament, then on tracking her down, and finally on finding her inside Mount Senkaku was a lot more enjoyable for me than the previous few episodes that jump around a lot more or bring in too many characters and plots. It also helped that Mio is definitely my favorite person on the show, and this episode did pretty well by her. It also didn’t have her on screen very much… hmm. Maybe there’s a correlation there?